The Tanimbar Islands consists of Pulau Yamdena (Jamdena), and about 66 smaller islands all fringed by steep coral reefs and white sand beaches. Except for Pulau Molu, Pulau Maru, Pulau Fordate, Pulau Laibobar, the islands are low and flat. Christianity is the dominate religion and churches are found throughout the cities and villages.

malukuThe Kai Islands have some of the best white sand beaches in Indonesia. Pasir Panjang, the most famous of them all is a must stop for beach lovers. The islands are formed almost entirely of raised coral and limestone. Except for the mountainous Pulau Kai Besar, the islands are comparatively low. Inhabitants live mainly in coastal villages and subsist on fishing and coconut farming. The capital city Tual is predominately Muslim. Nearby Langgur City is Christian.

In April, the monsoon changes and the prevailing winds shift from W and NW to E and SE. By May consistent SE trade winds can be expected and predominate until late October. Trade winds can be strong in Eastern Indonesia and winds of force 5-6 are common at the height of the SE monsoon season. Although the SE monsoon is commonly referred to as the ‘dry season’ in southern Indonesia, the Kai and Tanimbar Islands can be considerably more ‘wet’ than Timor to the W. This condition is caused winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean through the Torres Strait. In November, the Northwest Monsoon sets in and winds blow predominantly from the W and NW at 10-20 knots. Winds of considerable force and thunderstorms are frequent with calms in between. By early March the NW monsoon begins to fade as the seasons change and frequent calms can be expected in between passing hort duration squalls.

Saumlaki Anchorage

Saumlaki Anchorage

Currents are monsoon generated, less than 1 knot, flowing either E or W depending on the seasons with the E current being slightly stronger. Discolored patches are frequently encountered in relatively deep water in the vicinity of the Tanimbar Islands and reefs are not always marked by discoloration,

Caution: Although more frequently found in the Timor Sea to the S, at least one cyclone has passed through the Aru Islands and close to the Kai Archipelago and Tanimbar Islands. Cyclone season for the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea is from December to April careful planning is a must if passing through this area during this time.

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